Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best Banana Bread

Taken from the Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook that my grandma got me for Christmas. :) Yay!! Thanks grandma!! It was just something I decided to do to occupy my time after dinner tonight. After it was out of the oven and on the rack, my mom and I went on a walk while waiting for it to cool. Of course, when I got back I just had to try it, it just smelled too good! I cut the first slice and shared half with my mom, but had no choice but to go back for another slice, my taste buds were screaming. It'll most likely be my breakfast tomorrow morning.

Makes 1 loaf.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 very rip bananas
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (optional - I only didn't add these due to allergies :( but the recipe called for it, I'm sure it'd be even better with it, but the bread turned out fine without it too. )

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter bottom and sides of a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan; lightly coat with flour.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mash bananas with sour cream or yogurt until blended. In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer on high speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined.
3. Fold banana mixture into batter until blended. Lightly fold in dry ingredients and walnuts until just combined. Batter will be chunky. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake about 1 hour, until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pan to loosen bread. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Creamy Noodles with Ham and Peas

Mom made this for "dinner" today, which turned out to be more of a mid-day meal. When I asked where she'd gotten the recipe, it turns out that it came off of a package of egg noodles. What I liked the most about it was it reminded me of a lunch meal that my host mom used to make for us while I was in Germany. Only difference I could find was there was no peas. Good recipe for when you want to use up some leftover ham from dinner the night before. Really yummy!!

Time: about 20 minutes

4 1/2 cups Market Pantry Wide Egg Noodles (about 1/2 pkg)
3 Tsp. butter or margarine
1 cup ham, diced
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms, larger pieces cut in half
2 Tbsp. diced onion
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil, add salt to taste if desired. Add noodles and return to boil for 7-8 minutes or until noodles are tender, then drain.
2. While noodles are cooking, melt butter in large skillet. Add ham; cook and stir until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, onions and peas; cook about 4 minutes or until peas are hot and onions and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Add cream; simmer about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
3. Toss sauce with hot noodles and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with additional cheese, if desired.